dates will be given soon
: Jamie Hamilton (email@example.com)
Contact: Shigeru Watanabe [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Contact: Nicole Beauvois [nicole.beauvois
hereunder the description of the Formation.
In-depth study of the amma form of traditional Japanese massage
A new look at timeless massage techniques that have transcended
cultural borders to become truly international
Wikipedia (in Japanese) defines amma as:
A system of hands-on techniques, including stroking, pressing, stretching,
and tapping that awakens the body's natural tendency toward homeostasis
and improves health.
The first syllable in the Japanese word "amma" means "to
push," and the second syllable means "to stroke."
* Adapted from: Wikipedia Japan
Introduction from the instructor, Master Fugaku Ito.
When I was a young man studying the Japanese martial art of karate,
I began to learn shiatsu (Japanese pressure massage) from my teacher,
Master Shigeru Egami. During my years in Rakutenkai, where Shintaido
was born from Master Egami's karate, Shintaido founder Hiroyuki
Aoki encouraged further study of Japanese massage techniques, including
seitai (realigning the body to improve ki energy), kappo (involving
the stimulation of specific acupuncture points), and foot massage
(similar to reflexology).
In 1975 I came to the United States to found American Shintaido.
For the first 8 years, while working to establish the basis of Shintaido
there, I supported myself by working as a carpenter, by cooking,
and by doing shiatsu massage.
You may have heard of the famous cowboy movie called "The Fastest
Gun" -- well, in the early 1980s, the Japanese community in
and around San Francisco nicknamed me "The Fastest Thumb."
Shiatsu is done almost entirely with the thumbs, and they said I
was the "best thumb in the West."
I was interested in the techniques of amma massage, which had been
almost entirely lost in Japan. Right about that time, I heard that
a school teaching amma massage had opened in Japan Town in San Francisco,
and I had an opportunity to meet the director, David Palmer.
The massage school strictly followed the amma kata from David's
predecessor, Takashi Nakamura. The Nakamura family had handed down
the traditions of classical amma massage from generation to generation
in Japan, and this school continued those traditions in San Francisco.
I began to trade lessons with David, and soon recognized the great
value of the form that he was teaching. I still remember how impressed
I was with his approach to massage.
1) Positioning the client precisely on the massage table
2) Adapting the form to prevent strain in the massage therapist's
3) Making it possible for the massage therapist to maintain focus
and concentration ("kokyu") from start to finish
4) Accurately locating the acupuncture points
5) Carefully regulating the flow of energy through the body, and
incorporating that into care for each part of the body
6) Using the form to establishing a gentle, pleasant rhythm so that
the person receiving the massage had a sensation of being rocked
to sleep in a hammock
7) Effectively enabling profound relaxation and rehabilitation
I thought this accomplishment was as magnificent as a symphony performance,
and I was also extremely impressed at how the kata provided care
for each part of the body, and for the body as a whole.
Amma, which had almost vanished in its country of origin, Japan,
was being communicated precisely and accurately in another country.
And this teaching was designed not simply to transmit classical
amma, but to breathe new life into the practice by making sure that
the techniques were truly effective in modern-day clients.
My thinking was in agreement with David's, so I became his student
in the study of amma, and he became my student in Shintaido and
included the Shintaido Kenko Taiso in his school's curriculum. David
also applied his amma training to develop a 15-minute chair-based
massage, the first time such a massage technique was promoted in
the United States. Because chair massage could be conducted in so
many different places, it provided work for numerous massage therapists,
and David's contribution to the field is still highly respected
in North America and Europe.
David's "Touch-Pro" workshops and classes characteristically
began with kenko taiso.
That is the story of how I can boast of being an instructor who
accurately transmits the kata of amma, even though that kata has
been completely lost in modern Japan.
There is nothing more rewarding than teaching people a kata that
provides a new rhythm of breathing and working, so that they are
able to contribute to the happiness of the people around them.
Fugaku Ito, Profile
1942 Born in Kure City, Hiroshima, Japan.
1960 Began the study of karate with Shigeru Egami.
1965 Began working on the creation and popularization of Shintaido
with founder Hiroyuki Aoki. During this time, began the study of
shiatsu under the direction of Master Egami and the study of seitai,
kappo, and foot massage under the direction of Master Aoki.
1975 Relocated to the United States. Began the teaching of Shintaido
in America and around the world.
1982 Met David Palmer and began the study of traditional Japanese
In addition to teaching Shintaido, currently offers workshops in
body therapy-related techniques such as amma and sotai through the
Touch Pro Institute in San Francisco, CA
Seaman Medical Translation in Bellingham, WA
The Wellness Resource Center in North Dartmouth, MA
L' Attitude in Quebec, Qc, Canada
Introduction to Amma
• Introduction to simple techniques that can be used at home
or in the workplace, plus
• Amma Part 1 (massage table required), and discussion the
differences between "treatment" and "prevention"
Amma Part 1 (back sequence)
• Detailed instruction in the overall amma kata, plus •
Introduction to positioning the client on the massage table
• Sequence: Shoulders, arms, hands, neck, back, lower back,
back of thighs, calf, ankles, bottom of feet
Amma Part 2 (front sequence)
• Clear instruction on the fundamental overall principles
of the amma form, basic understanding of the meridians and meridian
• Introduction to positioning the client on the massage table,
and precise instructions on how to do this positioning
• Sequence: Front thighs, shin, top of feet, face, head, neck
and throat, chest, abdomen
• How to combine diagnosis and treatment. Hygiene precautions.
Giving advice to the client before and after the massage.
• Practical explanations and instruction based on the theory
and applications learned from trading lessons with alternative medicine
specialists around the world.